(Photo Credit: Facebook)
At the end of the night (September 10), the Rotary Clubs of the BVI surpassed their minimum telethon goal of $50,000 and was able to raise $138,000 for the people of The Bahamas, who experienced damage and destruction from hurricane Dorian--the worst hurricane in that country’s history.
In addition to the members of the various Rotary Clubs in the BVI, as well as the US Virgin Islands, the telethon, which spanned close to four hours, saw panel participation from His Excellency Governor Augustus Jaspert, as well as Permanent Secretary and former Director of the Department of Disaster Management, Sharleen Dabreo.
Panelist Gerard Farara commenced the telethon by emphasizing how important it was for the BVI community to support the fundraising effort. He stated, “This is an important initiative, one which all of us in the BVI should give our support. Human tragedy knows no boundary in terms of geographical boundaries, in terms of national boundaries, in terms of political boundaries. Human tragedy touches all of us either in a personal way in terms of our families, and a national way in terms of our countries.”
Farara stressed that the money raised will be going entirely towards providing assistance to the people that were affected by hurricane Dorian.
“The funds raised here this evening will be channeled to the Rotary Clubs in the Bahamas for them to use 100 percent to assist persons in need. This is not a situation where persons or people would have an opportunity to divert any of these funds elsewhere or to impose certain operational costs, and incentives that would deplete the funds which are to be raised,” he said.
The organization had set $50,000 as its minimum goal, but from early in the telethon Farara stated that this would be surpassed.
“We have every confidence that the generosity of the people of the Virgin islands and indeed …we would raise far beyond, an excess,” he stated.
District Governor Delma Maduro said that Rotary was named by the Bahamas government as one of the organizations to be used internationally for donation and assistance. Additionally, she said that it was recommended by Rotarians on the ground that cash should be donated in the first instance.
Maduro also explained that from a logistical point of view cash was a better choice for the initial donation.
“By giving cash it helps with some continuation of economic activity in the island,” she explained.
Maduro said, “Here in the BVI we have to be prepared to open our doors to them, because it’s not just the persons whose homes were completely devastated, it’s the relief persons as well.”
During the programme, Barry Rassin the former President of Rotary International who hails from the Bahamas and visited the BVI during his tenure expressed his thanks to the people of the BVI for their generosity via a telephone call.
In further impressing on the need for the BVI to support the people of the Bahamas in this trying time; and one of the reasons Rotary BVI rose to the cause Assistant Governor Lorna Smith stated, “We really want to help our neighbours, our friends, our brothers and sisters in the Bahamas. The only way we are going to help them is by giving generously.”